30 Minutes in Nature Every Day with My Kids: Week 1 of the #30x30challenge

Can you spot the mating butterflies?

Last May I tried to spend 30 minutes in nature every day for 30 days with my kids, and we're doing the same thing again this May. (Read about the benefits of time in nature in this post.) Here is how we spent the first week of our 30 x 30 Nature Challenge.

Week One of #30x30challenge

May 1 we swam at a friend's pool. Not exactly time in nature, but close enough for me. It was in the 80s and the first day my friend's neighborhood pool was open.

May 2 we hiked in a nearby park. My kids are great hikers. Also, my husband and I are willing to put up with a fair amount of whining. My husband does occasionally have to carry my 3-year-old on his back or in his arms, but mostly all three of my kids (7, 5, and 3) are troopers. I am so glad we started them young before they knew better! On this day we hiked some new trails we'd never used before. We saw tons of butterflies, and even got to observe two mating . They held still for a long time and didn't move even when my girls got very close. When they closed their wings, they were nearly indistinguishable from the surrounding leaves (see close up at top of post). Before the hike, we went to the farmers market, which I also consider time in nature.

Watching butterflies. See close-up of butterflies above (photo at top of post)

Family hikes are my favorite way to spend a Saturday.

May 3 we played in the backyard in the evening with friends we had over for dessert. While preparing the dessert (homemade ice cream with strawberries purchased the day before at the farmers market), my daughter ran inside to tell me that my son said there was an opossum in our backyard. Somewhat incredulous, I went outside and there was indeed an opossum hiding in some plants in the far corner. My son reassured me that the opossum was harmless, not aggressive, and we didn't need to worry. I quickly googled opossum on my smart phone and found out my son was right. No need to worry. It would probably move on all on its own. I asked my son, how did you know it was an opossum? "Wild Kratts," he told me. And that's how he knew it was harmless too.

May 4 I spent a couple of hours at a park with my 3-year-old in the morning. I chatted with friends while she biked around and played in the sand. After dinner, we went on a walk around the block with Papi. We did this a lot last year, but because of my husband's longer work days of late, I don't think we'll be able to do this as a family as often this year.

After dinner walk. A very popular 30x30 past time last year.

May 5 Anticipating that my husband would be home late, I took my kids for a walk after school. I'm always lamenting that we aren't walking distance from school. Taking a walk as soon as we get home is sort of my consolation prize. My girls decided to collect some treasures for a nature collage. Anything on the ground is fair game. As we got home, I noticed that our bushes were all a-buzz. Bee love in my own frontyard!

Collecting treasures.

The bees love these blossoms in our frontyard.

May 6 We spent far too long at the library after school. Not outside, but we did check out lots of books about the natural world. After the library, the kids played in the backyard.

May 7 It rained. Yay! California needs it. But our regular park day was canceled and the kids were disappointed. Although they often enjoy playing in the rain, we opted to visit a nearby children's museum instead. Luckily, they have a fabulous garden which they opened up between drizzles. My kids loved helping water the plants and tasting some of the edibles, and we left with sprigs of mint and rosemary from the gardener.

Watering plants in the garden at our local children's museum

My kids tried the mint leaves.

Did you get outside this week? 

Past 30 x 30 Challenge Posts

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  1. Hi Betsy, I've held onto this Leibster Award for 18 months. I hadn't found another blog I really thought should receive it. But now I have. I love your blog, we're very similar in what we're experiencing, but we live on opposite sides of the world.

    Here is the link to my award, with the questions for you to now answer and pass on. Apparently you're allowed to give the award to half a dozen blogs that you think are the best. Yours is the only one I've given out so far.

    Well done, keep up the great work, it's hard sometimes - but oh so worth it isn't it! You have a beautiful family.

    Award image is available on my link below, as are the questions its now up to you to answer.


    All the best,
    Bec Lees www.becleesjourney.blogspot.co.nz

    1. I'm honored to be your pick, Rebecca. After looking at your blog I can see that we are very similar except.... I don't know a thing about gardening, and don't have bees. Thank you so much for the kind words.

  2. This is a great goal. This summer we "hope" to be residing on our new urban homestead. I can't wait for the kids to being farm chores and such everyday.

  3. I love that you make a conscious effort to spend time outside every day. Now that it's finally warm it's easy to do over here. My kids are outside the minute they come home from school. During the winter months it's not as simple, but we'll take what we can get! Your kids have gorgeous hair!


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